The ABS Clinic at Latrikunda (Photo Ceedit Foroyaa)

The doctor in charge of Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ABS) has reacted with shock and anger over the government decision to close the Latrikunda-based German clinic.

The Ministry of Health ordered for the closure of the clinic last Tuesday after citing “the high death rates at the clinic” that has been operating in the country for over a decade.

In a press release the ministry said: “Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB) Clinic at Latrikunda has been closed with immediate effect and as such all clinical activities at the health facility has been stopped till further notice.”

The Ministry of Health added that its decision came “following series of complications in patients referred from the clinic resulting in loss of lives which were established to be due to deficiency in the management of the cases and hence the management of ASB Clinic are urge to cease operations and transfer all in-patients to the nearest appropriate health facilities.”

However, Dr Gelson Reyes described the government’s decision to close down the clinic as “very surprising, abrupt and hasty” saying “the decision will have adverse effect on both patients and dozens of Gambians working at the clinic.”

Dr Reyes said the ministry hasn’t issued a letter to them to cease operation, adding “I’m not aware of any complaint or letter from the Ministry of Health to notify us that we should cease operation in so and so date with very clear reasons attached.

“Knowing or unknowing this decision has already put the livelihoods of more than fifty of our staff and their families in danger. Most of the staff have been working here for more than twenty years sending them out of job becomes an issue altogether.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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